Admissions - PhD Literature

The deadline to apply for Fall 2019 was 1/5/2019

Application Requirements for the PhD program in Literature

Applications are reviewed once all supporting materials have been received. For more information about your application status, please check online or contact the graduate program staff.  Also, please review Graduate Studies' Frequently Asked Questions page, which covers most general admissions questions, but feel free to contact program staff faculty for more details!

This year 163 applications were submitted and 24 admission were made and 8 students are admitted.  Last year we received 124 applications, made 26 offers, and ended up admitting 12 students for Fall 2018.

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Program Requirements
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Funding Your PhD


  • Statement of Purpose, and the Personal History and Diversity Statement - guidelines can be found here
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation - only online submissions via Slate will be accepted
  • UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended - instructions can be found here
  • Application Fee: $105 domestic, $125 international
  • 1-2 research or term papers written for English courses. The total should not exceed 30 pages excluding images and bibliography
  • GRE scores from the General Test taken within the last 5 years
  • You must use the correct institution code for UC Davis (4834) but it is not necessary to use a department code. Regardless of what department code you enter, your GRE score will still be matched to your application.
  • Although there is no required minimum GRE score for applications, most of our successful applicants have verbal and analytic GRE scores in the upper 90th percentiles. However, an outstanding writing sample and overall strong application do in some cases lead us to overlook GRE scores that do not reflect the quality of the application as a whole.

Prospective students may also submit a Fellowship Application after applying to the program. 

All Applicants: Please review the UC Davis Graduate Studies Admissions & Application page in addition to the program requirements listed above.

International Applicants: Please review the following application information from the UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies. 

Funding Your PhD
All students admitted to the PhD program are guaranteed five years of funding in the form of Teaching Assistant positions during the first two years and an Associate Instructor position the following three.  These appointments provide a partial tuition waiver and monthly salary.  A limited amount of Graduate Student Researcher positions are available where students assist faculty with research projects.
First year nonresident students receive a supplemental tuition fellowship.  Second year students who come to Davis from out of state are expected to establish residency during their first year.
Departmental funds are also available, such as the Miller Travel Fund, for students to attend conferences, interviews and conduct research.  Additional progress-based and summer language and travel fellowship stipends are awarded with funding allocated to us by Graduate Studies.
The UC Davis Humanities Institute offers fellowships students can apply for to fund their projects.  Admitted students are also considered for University-wide fellowships.

Questions? Contact Us


Aaron Barstow

Department of English
PhD Program in Literature
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8581
(530) 752-2738


Andi Carr

Department of English
MA Program in Creative Writing
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8581
(530) 752-2281